Compost pick up program will begin again June 29

The old adage ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ has proven to be true.

The old adage ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ has proven to be true for Rimbey ratepayers who wanted to see the compost pick up program reinstated.

At its meeting, Monday council agreed to implement the program on a temporary basis as of June 29, said Mayor Rick Pankiw.

“The program will run until Dec. 31 at which time it may or may not continue depending on cost and the number of participants.

There will, however, be some stipulations.

It will be a user pay program, and residents who are signed up for the program will be charged an additional $3 on their monthly utility bills.

Residents will be required to purchase an 80-litre refuge container from the town office. Containers maybe picked up at public works at 4705 – 46 Ave.

Each container will be stenciled with the Town of Rimbey lettering. Once the container has been purchased, residents will need to write their address clearly on it and register with public works.

Council has decided to reinstate the program despite the fact a petition requesting this action has been deemed insufficient as it is related to a decision that was made during budget deliberations.

After checking the names and addresses on the petition it was determined that 503 signatures would have been classed as sufficient provided the petition, itself, met the legal requirements.

Council will need to shell out additional finances from reserves to pay for the program. These costs have not yet been determined.

At a previous meeting, Rimbey residents presented a petition signed by 570 town residents to council asking that the compost pick up be re-instated.

Along with the petition, several concerns regarding the program were read by Shirley Pobuda on behalf of Helen Coers, who was unable to attend the meeting.

“At a time when municipalities all across the country are trying to educate people, and improve facilities and services relating to the care of the environment, the Town of Rimbey seems to be going in the opposite direction by selling off our equipment and ending a service in waste management that has been a part of Rimbey town life for almost 20 years. What is/are the reasons for this?” Coers asked in her written submission.

The mayor thanked the residents for voicing their opinions, noting council was never opposed to com-osting, which is why they put the bins at the recycling centre.

“We were just trying to keep costs down,” he said.

Coers continues to have reservations about council’s decision.

“It appears convoluted to me. There are still many unanswered questions. For instance, why did staff spend time dissecting the petition when it was ultimately rejected anyway because it was a budget issue? Could that not have been determined immediately?”

The grass clippings will be taken to Ponoka weekly. Director of public works Rick Schmidt encourages people to continue to consider grass recycling and backyard composting.

“You are helping yourself and you are helping the environment by doing so,” he said.

Schmidt said he has obtained accredited documents from Alberta Environment and Olds College containing factual information about the benefits of composting that he would be willing to share with the public.

For more information contact Schmidt at 403-843- 2725.